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Original Research Paper

Learning style preferences: a comparison between students of an Indian and a Malaysian medical school

Authors:

J. P. Heethal ,

MAHSA University College, Kuala Lumpur, MY
About J. P.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine
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G. N. Sahana,

Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan, IN
About G. N.
Department of Pharmacology
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S. Ghosh,

MAHSA University College, Kuala Lumpur, MY
About S.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine
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G. Chitra

MAHSA University College, Kuala Lumpur, MY
About G.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Students have different levels of motivation, attitudes about teaching-learning and responses to specific environments. The more the instructors understand the differences, better the chance they have of meeting the diverse learning needs of all their students. This study aims to analyze the learning preferences among students of an Indian and a Malaysian medical school.

 

Methods: The study was conducted among the 2nd year medical students from an Indian medical school (group 1, n=91) and a Malaysian medical school (group 2, n=100). After obtaining informed consent, the students were instructed to fill ―the index of learning styles questionnaire‖ by Felder and Solomon. The questionnaire assesses preferences on four dimensions: processing (active/reflective), perception (sensing/intuitive), input (visual/verbal) and understanding (sequential/global). The data obtained was analyzed using descriptive statistics.

 

Results: In group 1, 56 students were female and 35 male, and in group 2, 61 were female and 39 male. In both groups we found that active learners were common in processing, sensing learners in perception, visual in input and sequential in understanding. The comparison in the learning style between both groups revealed that active learners were more in group 2 (64%), reflective in group 1 (42%), sensing in group 2 (64%), intuitive in group 2 (37%), verbal in group 2 (26%), visual in group 1 (80%), sequential in group 2 (68%) and global in group 1(42%).

 

Conclusion: It is recommended that educators take learning style preferences of medical students into consideration so that teaching-learning methods are designed to suit the learning styles of all or most of the students.
How to Cite: Heethal, J.P., Sahana, G.N., Ghosh, S. and Chitra, G., 2014. Learning style preferences: a comparison between students of an Indian and a Malaysian medical school. South-East Asian Journal of Medical Education, 8(2), pp.14–19.
Published on 23 Dec 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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